Posts Tagged ‘WWE Smackdown Live’

Finn Balor has reportedly requested some time away from WWE, according to Pro Wrestling Sheet.

Balor will reportedly take “a little bit of time” away from WWE beginning in August. Word is that he has asked for two months off, and the request was granted.

There’s no word yet on why Balor has asked for time off, but one source said Balor is just looking to “re-charge.”

It’s believed that the time off will begin after the SummerSlam pay-per-view on August 11.

Balor dropped the WWE Intercontinental Title to Shinsuke Nakamura on last night’s Extreme Rules Kickoff pre-show.

WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley appeared on Fair Game with Kristine Leahy on FS1 for an interview. During the conversation, Bayley was asked what was her favorite storyline so far in her career. 

“My stuff with Sasha [Banks] in NXT was really fun,” Bayley said. “That led into me winning the NXT Women’s Champions, it felt real and intense—which it was, both of us climbing that mountain, trying to one-up each other. I don’t know if you guys remember Eva Marie, she used to wrestle for NXT also. We had a cool, little storyline going on somewhere in there, and the fans despised her. 

“I remember there was one time in the ring and we were trying to talk on the microphone to each other. I could not hear a word she was saying. Every time she put the mic to her mouth, the fans would start booing so loud. The people with the cameras were like, ‘Just start talking,’ because the cameras will still pick it up. But I couldn’t respond to her because I couldn’t hear her over the fans. I always say my matches with her were my favorite because they were so easy, they hated her and they loved me. So, it made it so much fun and easy.”

Eva caught the interview and responded on Twitter about how much she appreciated Bayley’s help in the ring. Marie also noted she’d return to WWE just to have another go at the champ.

“Bayley taught me so much about in ring performance, and always went above and beyond to show me the ropes,” Marie wrote. “My matches with her were hands down my favorite! I would come back just to do a run with her!” 

Bayley responded and it sounded like she’d be happy to take on the former WWE star.

“Thank you,” Bayley wrote. “I’ll take that as a challenge. Come on back, sister.”

Over the last few days, we caught a little teaser of what WWE’s talk show on FS1 could resemble when superstar Bayley met up with Kristine Leahy to talk shop on the station’s Fair Game programme.

Amidst banal chat about Bayley’s entry into the industry and her feud with perennial rival/ best friend Sasha Banks, The Hugger left her host’s jaw on the floor with the revelation that WWE superstars are expected to both pay for and provide their own travel to and from shows.

This, of course, is absolutely not news to anyone who follows wrestling, but the fact it caught Leahy – from the extended world of entertainment – completely by surprise demonstrates the extent to which the life of WWE’s employees is the exception, not the rule.

“It’s not pretty. It’s hard,” said Bayley, before describing “four, five hour drives” where “you’re afraid you’re gonna run out of gas.”

Open-mouthed, Leahy asked why the company don’t provide at least a driver for their supposed superstars – let alone force them to rent their own transportation.

“We do it five days a week so they can’t do that for 30 superstars [every week],” Bayley reasoned, to which Leahy responded, “I think they make a lot of money off you.”

“I think so too,” Bayley conceded, before couching that “they take care of us.”

Not wanting to openly criticise her paymasters anymore after being drawn into it, the current SmackDown Women’s Champion concluded that life on the road “does become fun” as it allows wrestlers the opportunity to make long-lasting memories with their travel buddies. Memories which they need to pay for, and complete before dawn.

Five years after taking part in a WWE tryout, Zelina Vega finally made her way to the main roster in 2018. She spent less than one year in NXT and she quickly learned that the WWE main roster is completely different than the developmental brand.

Vega revealed the biggest lesson she learned in WWE when she joined the Busted Open Podcast.

“I have to say that the biggest lesson I have learned is to find your way to stand out. Whatever it is that you do, dial it up to a 10 because for me people won’t necessarily think I am the best wrestler in the world, but I can do what others can’t,” stated Vega. “As soon as I get on the mic that’s something you can’t really match with me, so whenever I accompany Andrade to the ring I make sure that no matter what it was I was doing, I make sure that I was a part of it and to make sure that the moment you will remember when Zelina does a crazy thing. Finding whatever it is that you do and dial it up to a 10.”

In between her WWE tryout in 2013 and joining NXT in 2017, Vega competed on the indie scene and was just waiting for WWE to reciprocate her interest. After rejection after rejection, she admitted that she thought she would never be in WWE.

“Absolutely. Actually, a few years ago I texted Dwayne Johnson and I had gotten another ‘no’ from the WWE and I had gotten another ‘no’ from an audition when I was auditioning for Spider-Man and had gotten a ‘no’ there,” said Vega. “So, I was at the end of my rope there and said that I think I was just going to give up and whether he can give me some advice. I was at the end of the rope and told him that I was thinking about just quitting wrestling, he was like, no, give me a couple of days I am working on something, and then the movie [Fighting With My Family] happened and then after that, it was full speed ahead. It was pretty incredible.”

Vega portrayed AJ Lee in the movie which was produced by WWE Studios and began filming in early 2017. By mid-2017 Vega had signed on with WWE where she reported to the Performance Center and the rest is history.

On the July 9 episode of SmackDown Live!, Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose, better known as “Team Fire and Desire”, issued a challenge to Ember Moon for the following week. Moon was instructed to find herself a partner to compete against Rose and Deville in a tag team match. 

Ember has found herself in an ongoing feud with Rose and Deville following backstage spars that have taken place over the course of several weeks. Ember competed against the duo in separate one-on-one matches, losing to Deville on June 25, and defeating Rose a week later. Despite Ember claiming that she has no problem taking them both on by herself, Rose and Deville have shown that they will do whatever it takes to win; so it’s best if Ember found herself a worthy partner. 

The obvious choice for a partner would be Carmella, simply because, much like Ember, she isn’t a stranger to Rose and Deville’s bullying antics. But Carmella isn’t the first choice for a lot of WWE fans on Social Media.

On July 10, Ember Moon posted to Instagram asking her followers who they would like to see as her tag partner heading into the match against Rose and Deville. The comments section was flooded with responses ranging from Carmella, to Naomi, to even Charlotte Flair. But the name that showed up the most was none other than Liv Morgan. 

Morgan has been absent from WWE television since she found herself separated from her former Riott Squad teammates Sarah Logan and Ruby Riott in the 2019 Superstar Shakeup, joining the SmackDown roster. While Ruby is currently out with an injury, and Sarah Logan competing mostly on WWE Main Event, Liv has yet to debut on SmackDown Live, although she has competed in dark matches and live events.

One Instagram, @ryan_d0uglas, wrote, “Liv would be awesome.” @rachel_wwe said, “We want Liv!!!!” Finally, @tnolan_20 said “Pick @yaonlylivvonce!!! We finally saw @sarahloganWWE on TV again last week, it’s Liv’s turn now!”

Will we finally see Liv Morgan on WWE television after an extended break? Will she step up and be Ember Moon’s tag team partner against Rose and Deville, or will WWE go with the obvious choice of Carmella? SmackDown will be an interesting one this coming Tuesday.

Kevin Owens caused a major stir on this week’s SmackDown, dropping a CM Punk-esque Pipebomb-style worked shoot promo after engaging in a parking lot brawl with Dolph Ziggler during the opening segment.

In his rant, KO ethered Shane McMahon for hogging increased amounts of airtime since his family promised to put the power back in the fans’ hands last year, chastising him for taking TV time away from the likes of Asuka, Buddy Murphy, and Ali. On top of this, Owens claimed that he felt sick every time Shane calls himself “Best in the World.”

While it differed from the original Pipebomb in that it was scripted and not as incendiary, it had a similar effect. Now, the reason behind its existence has become clear.

Per WrestlingNews.co, WWE plan on using this storyline to eventually phase McMahon out of weekly programming, which muddies his role in the company going forward.

There’s no word on how Shane’s decline will manifest, though it’s hard to imagine too many fans being disappointed by this. A talented performer he may be, but along with Baron Corbin, Shane is WWE’s foremost recipient of go-away heat in 2019.

The former and 8-time WWE 24/7 Champion R-Truth was a guest on the latest installment of E&C’s Pod of Awesomeness. During the discussion, Truth thoroughly explained his belief that your creative success in WWE is up to you as the performer. This reminded him of a time when Vince McMahon disliked a promo that Truth had given, prompting him to investigate why it didn’t receive the typical, positive response from the boss.

“It’s a matter of taking what they give you which regardless of how you look at it, it is what you make out of it. That’s just the way I view things,” Truth said. “I did a promo that Vince McMahon didn’t like; it bothered me because Vince likes all of my promos. I said to him that, ‘I heard you didn’t like one of my promos.’ Which he stated that one of my promos he [indeed] didn’t like. I asked him what was missing in my promo and he told me that I wasn’t in character. [In my opinion], I thought that I was in character.

“You know what it was? It was how it was delivered to me on what I had to do. A person delivered it to me in a dry monotone; he told me the steps on what I was to do. Me, I’m a person that goes on how you feel,” Truth stated. “That’s how I can make you feel, on how I feel. He gave it to me like someone had stole my dog. It was something like, damn, I’m in trouble. That’s how it was delivered to me. So I told Vince that it was a cornball that had delivered it to me. He was like, ‘What’s a cornball?’ I said it was a person that isn’t funny. Bruce Prichard is more funny than him, Jeff Jarrett is more funny, Shane Helms; when these guys give me a promo, they almost turn into my character and say that they can almost see this being in my character, and they act it out. They’re doing me and I get it, and I’m laughing while doing my promo. The [first] guy gave me my promo and didn’t laugh one time – he didn’t smirk, smile, laugh or anything, so I was thinking that I had to be serious in my promo, which was the interpretation of how I took it. I take whatever they give me and try to make it the best that it can be.”

In June of 2011, R-Truth became well-known amongst WWE fans for his “Little Jimmy” shtick that, apparently, started by accident. Truth explained to the listeners of the podcast how Vince McMahon first pitched the idea to him.

“Little Jimmy was an accident. Vince caught me smoking and, so, I guess to rib me and get back at me he had me smoke a cigarette on TV,” Truth said. “And it got me over more because people were like, ‘Oh s–t, he’s cool. He’s smoking a cigarette right now. He’s blowing smoke.’ The moment I came out, Vince was like, ‘Well, they’re cheering for you so I want you to come out and call all the people, ‘Little Jimmy’s’ because they’re all John Cena fans.’ I did that, and I just happened to turn to the side and bend down and say, ‘Oh, Little Jimmy. All the Little Jimmy’s want to be like you.’ 

“From that point on, people were pointing at me and saying, ‘Oh look, he’s talking to Little Jimmy.’ I was just talking to myself, but if Little Jimmy is there, then he’s there,” Truth joked. “It just blew up from there. I would turn my head to the side and everyone would say I am talking to Little Jimmy. There were grown people that have kids wanting to take a picture with an empty chair because I told them that Little Jimmy was sitting there. It was contagious man, everybody loved Little Jimmy. As of right now, people were still chanting Little Jimmy on Raw.”

Since the WWE 24/7 Championship was presented on RAW earlier this year, no one has seen quite as much success with it as Truth. He is now an 8-time WWE 24/7 Champion and has every intention of continuing the on-screen antics with the title. 

“I’ve been loving it man. It gives me a chance to release. I can be funny, I can be entertaining; I am getting more views doing this than a wrestling match,” Truth explained. “I’m having a ball. I’m glad I can take something that everybody thought was the ugliest thing in the world – everybody loves it now. The title is not ugly, it just has a different look. I get to have so much fun with it and it can be never ending with me.”

Truth recognizes that the 24/7 Championship is giving more TV time to WWE stars that may not regularly see it as much. 

“The fact that I love most about it is that it gets a lot of the guys you don’t see TV time,” Truth continued. “I even asked creative about using the guys more, using Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel as my bodyguards. Creative would say to me, ‘Well, why wouldn’t they want to pin you?’ I’d tell them, ‘Well, you don’t want this ugly title, you want the tag team titles.’ They would respond with, ‘Yeah, he’s right!’ That’s funny, comedy stuff. Things like that, there are so many things we can do with the 24/7 title. I don’t want to do the same thing [each week] because it’ll get boring.”